Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe calls for more inclusiveness of women, saying their role in the nation’s development can no longer be ignored.
Abaribe who state this at the opening ceremony of the silver jubilee celebration and conference of the League of Women Voters of Nigeria, NILOWV, in Abuja, noted that the country must come up with a strategy to encourage women participation in the political process, especially with the 2023 elections some months away.
“We must try to encourage and support women as much as we can because we cannot have 50 per cent of our society not being given the opportunity to contribute to society.
We must realize that the good of society also depends on women because they are our nurturers.
If things are not going well for women, you can imagine how that will affect the rest of us,” he said.
The federal lawmaker also lamented the plight of women in their quest for elective offices, saying a lot of hurdles have been stacked against them in the past.
“I think what is going on is that ignorance is being pushed and of course religion and traditional practices are used to suppress women.
So, it is up to women with education to arise and speak up.
One of the things that even men find difficult to understand is that women sometimes find it difficult to support themselves and that is a bit difficult for those of us who continue to push for women to get farther than they are at the moment,” he added.
Speaking earlier, President and founder of NILOWV, Esther Uduehi said the time has come for Nigerian women to take their place in the collective task of nation-building.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Nigerian women: Overcoming challenges in politics and leadership for national development,” Uduehi noted that the organization seeks to empower women and girls from age 18 and above politically and economically for national development.
Adding that NILOWV believes that if the nation is to progress, there is need for gender mainstreaming in all facets of life.
According to her, “gender inequality is not a women’s issue but an economic one.
Gender inequality does more harm to the general and economic development of any country and every effort should be made to enthrone gender equality in Nigeria.
The group called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government as well as sub-national governments to do everything possible to consider the full implementation of the 35 per cent affirmative action for women.
Other dignitaries at the event include former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, Special Assistant to President Buhari on Political Affairs, Babafemi Ojudu, among others.
2023 Election: Senate minority leader calls for inclusiveness of women